AMDT grad Ava Rambo carries college banner at fall commencement

Ava Rambo
Ava Rambo, 2023 AMDT grad and fall commencement gonfalon bearer, will begin graduate studies in winter 2024.

Ava Rambo of the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles will carry the gonfalon banner of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at WSU’s fall 2023 commencement ceremony, Saturday, Dec. 9.

Hailing from Farmington, Wash., Rambo is a hard-working student who is committed to helping her peers succeed.

“It is such an honor to have been selected as the CAHNRS gonfalon bearer,” Rambo said.

A daughter of a farmer who grew up in a small town on the Palouse, Rambo learned about CAHNRS through her high school involvement in FFA.

“Although studying fashion is not what most people usually think of when hearing about my background, being able to connect the two and represent CAHNRS today really feels like a full circle moment,” she said.

While completing her degree in less than three years, Rambo volunteered in several roles. She worked as AMDT’s social media director to help keep students connected to the program, welcomed Future Cougs at campus events, and helped teach classes as a teaching assistant.

An experience that stood out was her role as a National Retail Federation Foundation ambassador. Representing the nonprofit arm of the world’s largest retail trade association on the WSU campus, Rambo helped connect students with scholarships and job opportunities, and attended a nation conference in New York City. She also seized opportunities as a student leader for the Nordstrom Ambassador Program and as a digital marketing intern.

Last spring, she met the AMDT Advisory Board, a group of dedicated professionals and alumni that help guide the department, in Seattle.

“This networking experience opened my eyes to both how many facets of the apparel industry there are, and to how lucky WSU is to have great individuals supporting AMDT students,” Rambo said.

College has gone by fast, and Rambo says she still can’t believe this chapter of her life is ending. In January, she will begin her work on a master’s degree in merchandising at WSU, with her eye on a future career in brand marketing.

“So, I don’t expect my ‘everyday life’ to change right away,” she said.

Rambo is thankful for the relationships she built with AMDT faculty and students.

“Being able to have such close connections has made going to class, study trips, and projects so much more enjoyable and impactful,” she said.

Rambo advises fellow Cougs to explore a variety of experiences, which can help when applying to internships and jobs.

“Even if the role isn’t directly related to your end career goal, you can always find a way to tie in the soft skills and leadership you have gained,” she said.

“At the end of the day, the only secrets to success are hard work, having a strong network of people, and being kind,” Rambo added. “Also, go to class!”